Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg votes in Tel Aviv, April 9, 2019.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Meretz will send a small but diverse list of candidates to the Knesset after exit polls suggested that the party will win four to five seats in the elections for the Knesset.
Three Jews, one Arab and one Druze candidate make up the top five places in the left-wing party’s list.
“In these circumstances, we are definitely breathing a sigh of relief this evening,” said chairwoman Tamar Zandberg. “[The result] is definitely considered a success from our point of view as we have seen a campaign of draining our votes... It is clear today, as we said throughout our campaign, that there is no dramatic change without Meretz.”
Zandberg adopted similar tactics to those employed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other party leaders, as she warned on Tuesday morning of dangerous consequences should her party underperform.
“I admit that I’m worried this morning,” said Zandberg as she arrived to vote in Tel Aviv. “Meretz is in the danger zone and Meretz is the key to the whole [left-wing] bloc. If Meretz falls, then the whole bloc falls. If there’s a failure here, then there’s no chance of a dramatic change.”
Seeking to capture every possible vote, Zandberg also sent a message to activists, presenting 10 key reasons to choose Meretz and asking them to share on social media and to persuade friends and family to vote for the party.
Zandberg also traveled to the Arab city of Kafr Kassem later on, accompanied by Arab Israeli MK Esawi Frej, to encourage Arab voters to head to the ballots amid fears over low turnout. The party’s performance, however, was ultimately determined by the ability of its diverse list of candidates to convince the electorate that voting for the party was both an ideological vote and a strategic vote – a key message behind its campaign.
Should Meretz be called upon to join a coalition, the party will aim to secure one of the education, legal or welfare ministries.
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